In the early 1860s, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) felt the need to increase the number of English-speaking sisters in its ranks. The possibility of opening a mission in Troy, Albany (U.S.A.) occurred at the same time. In August 1864, three sisters left Quebec to found the first SNJM mission in New York State.
Unfortunately, this mission could not flourish. In October, the missionary sisters were sent to Windsor, Ontario, to found a new mission.
May 22, 1865
Shortly thereafter, the Congregation received a request from Mr. Falvey, pastor of St. John’s parish in Schenectady, and Bishop Conroy (Grand Vicar of Albany) to establish a school there. In May 1865, Sisters Marie-Alphonse (Marie-Louise David) and Marie-du-Mont-Carmel (Emma Duhamel) left Windsor to go to Schenectady. Sister Michel-des-Saints (Julie Renaud) joined them to create this first mission.
This foundation was the beginning of many other SNJM educational missions on the American East Coast and as far away as Florida. Today, several nuns are active in the states of New York and Florida. There are also two schools focused on girls’ education: Academy of the Holy Names (AHN) in Albany and Tampa.